As the school year quickly approaches, I'm sure you have all noticed the back to school supplies coming out in stores. It can be overwhelming going through the aisles seeing piles of notebooks, binders, pencils and pens, especially when on a budget and trying to stay environmentally friendly. Many people are surprised to find buying new items can strain our water resources. It takes much more water to make a new item than it does to reuse or recycle an old one. The following are some tips to keep in mind as you do your school shopping so you can save water and money!
- Before shopping, sort through old school supplies. Many of last year's materials can be reused.
- Go through old binders and folders. Recycle paper that has been used on both sides and reuse paper with writing on one side.
- Make a list of the supplies you need before you go to the store. This will help limit impulse purchases.
- Buy products made from recycled materials and supplies that can be reused, like refillable pens.
- Find supplies with minimal packaging or buy supplies in bulk. 30% of all the waste generated each year comes from packaging.
- Buy products that are durable and will last for many years to come. Durable products help reduce the amount of items thrown away every year.
- Get a reusable container to pack school lunches instead of using disposable paper bags.
- Finally, share leftover supplies with family and friends who may need them. If you still have leftover supplies, donate them to a local charity group that provides children in need with school supplies.